HAVERHILL — The young man who pulled the trigger in what was described by investigators as a love-triangle shooting will spend no more time in jail.
His friend who drove their car the night of the shooting has also avoided more time behind bars.
In Haverhill District Court, both men were convicted of their roles in the incident — which resulted in a bullet coming within 15 feet of a woman — but they were set free on probation.
David Trongeau and Casey Drouin were each sentenced to 30 days in jail, time served while they were waiting for their case to be heard in court. They each also received 18 months in jail suspended for two years. The sentences came after the men pleaded guilty in Haverhill District Court last week.
Both Trongeau, who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Drouin, a Haverhill resident, are now on probation, and were told they can be sent back to jail for 18 months if they violate probation rules during that suspended two-year sentence, according to Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney's office.
Trongeau and Drouin must also remain drug and alcohol free, have no contact with the victim and not possess firearms, Kimball said.
Police said in what appeared to be a "gang-related'' incident, Trongeau fired a single shot into the Haverhill home of Zachary Monaco, who had threatened Drouin because he was jealous Drouin was dating Monaco's ex-girlfriend, according to police.
According to Monaco's ex-girlfriend, in the parking lot of the Bradford Wendy's restaurant last November, Monaco pulled out a gun and told her new boyfriend Drouin, “I'm going to shoot you in the head.”
She also said Monaco, while holding a knife, told Drouin to “control your (expletive) before I stab her,'' according to police.
A week later on Dec. 8, Haverhill police responded to shots fired at Monaco's home on Center Street. Monaco was not home at the time of the shooting, according to a police report. His mother was decorating a Christmas tree at the time and a bullet entered the home 15 feet from her, the report said.
When police interviewed Monaco in late February, he recounted how he asked his ex-girlfriend if she knew about the shooting, according to the police report. Monaco said she laughed and replied, “Yeah, I was there,” the report stated. She then told Monaco she was in the car with Drouin and a “gang member with a Nike tattoo below his eye,” police said. When police asked Monaco why the girl would recount those details to him, Monaco said “because she is stupid” and “did not seem to care” about potential consequences of her actions, according to the police report.
The girl later went to the Haverhill police station with her mother to speak with police about the case. She told them she was aware of the shooting, but was not present when it happened. According to the report, the girl told police that Drouin said he and another man she identified as Trongeau shot at Monaco's home, and that Drouin contacted her after the shooting to tell her about it.
Trongeau's defense attorney long disputed the testimony, calling it “hearsay based on hearsay.”
The girl told police the shooting was, in part, retaliation for threats Monaco made earlier. During the course of the investigation, police said they confirmed Trongeau and Drouin were "associates" involved in several past criminal incidents together.
Monaco was also arrested for his role in the incident. He remains jailed on charges of making threats and assault with a dangerous weapon. He next appears in Haverhill District Court in late August.